Congo-Kinshasa: Tshisekedi Says Situation 'Very Serious' As Covid Deaths Rise in DRC

Le Président de la République Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo s'est adressé lundi soir à la Nation à travers une allocution radiotélévisée.

As President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) went to comfort residents of Goma, who are recovering from the effects a volcanic eruption, he spoke of the situation currently prevailing in the country -- that of the exponential upsurge of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DRC president acknowledged that this situation "is very serious", and that "the hospitals are saturated and there are many deaths".

Covid-19 has already killed 834 people in the DRC.

President Tshisekedi has promised that once he arrives in Goma, he will take "drastic measures by tightening the screws to face this third wave, more virulent than the previous two that have already raged in the country".

"It will not please but I believe that life and health come before everything," he said.

Patrice Lumumba tributes

President Tshisekedi said because of the resurgence of the pandemic, he was forced to postpone the tributes to Patrice Lumumba, initially scheduled for June 21 to 30. They will now be done January 8 to 17, 2022.

The Congolese president said the AstraZeneca vaccine has had some negative effects and promised that the country would import other vaccines.

"I had a meeting with those responsible for the response against Covid. During this meeting, the option of having a multitude of vaccines was floated. You know very well that the AstraZeneca vaccine posed some problems and continues to pose side effects. So it would be better if we [get a variety] of vaccines," he said.

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